Origami Angel are back and sound as good as they’ve ever been. It really doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since Somewhere City took the emo world by storm. That is thanks in part to the constant stream of/demand for vinyl variants and their goofy but still so good that it may be underrated Origami Angel Break Minecraft EP, which is filled with chiptune remixes of their own tracks that the band cobbled together for their Minecraft live show early in quarantine. However while Somewhere City never really felt like it left the DIY conscious it has been a full sixteen months since that record dropped. With the first two tracks from their new record Gami Gang freshly released last week, Origami Angel showed they haven’t lost a step in quarantine.
The first of the two tracks properly released last week, “Neutrogena Spektor” shows off a lil piece of just about everything Origami Angel does so well in less than three minutes. The song starts off fast and furious, sounding like it would have fit right in on Somewhere City. Lead singer Ryland Heagy starts the first verse feeling bad about himself and his appearance, before reminding himself that he’s loved by people he loves right back which is ultimately all that matters, opening the ripper of a refrain with, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I was easy on the eyes, But honestly I couldn’t give a fuck and I feel fine”. Ryland’s soft voice pairs perfectly with the fast and furious instrumental, almost feeling like a hundred mile an hour pop track. In the back half however Gami turns everything up to a hundred, with Ryland bellowing “It doesn’t matter to me!” over some heavy, bordering on metal, guitar work. Every time I listen to Gami I end up amazed that this dynamic cacophony of sounds is created by just two people, especially when they sound like two completely different bands all within one ripping track.
The second song released last week was “Greenbelt Station” which first appeared as the last track in their aforementioned Minecraft Liveset/EP. Named for the MARC/Metro station stop in Greenbelt, MD providing access to the Camden MARC line and the Green and Yellow Metro lines, “Greenbelt Station” is a tender quiet acoustic track which serves as a nice calming digestif after the intensity of “Neutrogena Spektor”. It is quite a somber track, with Ryland reflecting on love gone awry as he and the person in question just needed things the other couldn’t provide. Ryland mentioned that the collection of songs on Gami Gang had been written as far back as 2014 and all have an extremely personal edge from what he was feeling at different points in his life, and clearly “Greenbelt Station” is no different.
Origami Angel have been on top of the emo world since Somewhere City for a myriad of reasons. Most notably their musical output has been consistently incredible. However, almost as important is that Ryland and Pat come off as nice, hardworking people who are appreciative of all their friends who’ve enabled their success, making them incredibly easy to root for. Speaking of rooting for them, I don’t think Ryland gets proper credit for how hard he reps DMV basketball. In the promotional photos the duo put out to promote this single he’s repping none other than the Maryland Terrapins who just made a respectable Second Round run in the NCAA tournament. Choosing to rep a #34 Len Bias jersey too, commemorating a talented player who was taken from this earth much too early, may be a nod to the contemplative nature of this upcoming release. Regardless we couldn’t be more excited to have Gami back, and can’t wait to hear what this album has in store.